The VW Crafter 4Motion is the four-wheel drive version of Volkswagen’s large panel van, the Crafter. The Volkswagen Crafter 4Motion will be a competitor to other 4×4 panel vans, like the Ford Transit AWD, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 and Iveco Daily 4×4, and will be able to order from VW Van Centres from late spring 2017.
Volkswagen has been selling four-wheel drive of its large panel vans for generations, including the popular VW LT 4×4 of the 1970’s and 1980’s. More recently, the German manufacturer has offered 4Motion technology on just its small and medium vans, the Caddy and Transporter, although specialist 4×4 converter Achleitner did offer a 4×4 version of the previous generation.
Now though, Volkswagen has ended its relationship with Mercedes-Benz to build the Crafter, and has instead built a brand new state-of the-art production facility in Poland. This means it is now able to offer 4×4 versions of the Crafter that are built in-house and straight from the factory line.
VW Crafter 4Motion engine and driveline
The Volkswagen Crafter 4Motion will only be available for test from the spring of 2017, as the production will initially be focused on front-wheel drive derivatives, which make up the bulk of the sales.
However, we can share quite a number of technical details of the upcoming vehicle. Under the bonnet will be a newly-developed 2.0-litre TDi engine is inclined 8-degrees towards the grille to provide free up some space for the cab, and there are power ratings of 102hp @ 3,250-3,500rpm (300Nm @ 1,400-2,250rpm), 140hp @ 3,500-3,600rpm (340Nm @ 1,600-2,250rpm) and 177hp @ 3,600rpm (410Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm).
The engine will be transversely mounted (same as the front-wheel drive models, but different to the longitudinally mounted rear-wheel drive models) and will be available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a super smooth eight-speed AQ450 torque converter automatic.
The permanent all-wheel drive system comes with a high level of active safety and uses Haldex coupling, which has been tried and tested in a wide range of Volkswagen Group vehicles. The Haldex coupling is fitted on the rear axle and distributes drive between the front and rear axles, depending on which has the more traction.
Panel van practicality
Four-wheel drive versions will have a raised chassis and extra suspension travel to tackle the more challenging terrain. Apart from that, there is very little difference between it and the 2WD models. Load volumes range between 9 and 17 cubic metres and there are gross vehicle weights of up to four tonnes.
VW Crafter 4Motion price
The 4Motion version of the Volkswagen Crafter is expected to be around a £5,000 to £7,000 premium, with prices starting at around £32,000 plus VAT. Which derivatives will be heading to the UK, however, have still yet to be announced although they will be arriving into Volkswagen’s Van Centres from late spring or early summer 2017.
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